SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man and a teenager arrested in connection with robberies that targeted Asian women in Sacramento are now facing hate crime allegations, police said.
Sacramento County prosecutors this week added a hate crime enhancement to robbery charges filed against both suspects, who have been in custody since June, the Sacramento Police Department said in a press release Wednesday.
The robberies occurred amid a wave of assaults against Asian Americans in California and across the country that started when the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S.
The crimes occurred in April and May as the women were leaving shopping centers. Victims were injured in physical assaults and thousands of dollars in cash, jewelry and other property were taken.
Police located a suspect vehicle and a search turned up evidence related to the robberies, police said.
Detectives then identified two suspects and arrested a 17-year-old male in Berkeley on June 15 and 20-year-old Latravion Mccockran in Sacramento on June 22.
“Detectives continued their investigation after the arrests and located additional evidence indicating that the victims were targeted due to their race,” the statement said.
On Monday, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office added the hate crime enhancement to the robbery charges, police said.
It was not immediately known if Mccockran had an attorney who could comment on the allegations. Online custody records showed he was being held in a county jail Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The 17-year-old was not identified. Police noted that when he was arrested, two other individuals with him were arrested for allegedly illegally possessing handguns.